Mass evacuations ordered as Hurricane Florence approaches US

Christopher Davidson
September 14, 2018

"This is a very fluid situation, especially now that new model runs are shifting the course of the storm south after landfall, potentially increasing its impact on SC and Georgia", St. Mary's Hospital spokesman Mark Ralston said.

President Trump and his administration are buckling in for Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 hurricane expected to slam into the Carolinas by Friday.

Some strengthening is forecast through Wednesday night, drawing energy from the warm water.

Winds will be at least 100 miles per hour as the storm approaches the coast. It will be more tropical depression at that point. Hurricane Helene was expected to weaken over the eastern Atlantic. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances.

Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 300 miles (485 kilometers) ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged.

"Wave heights to 83 ft were measured early this morning under the [northeast] quadrant of Hurricane Florence", tweeted the National Hurricane Center.

Due to the storm's enormous size and power, it's been a recent - if not frightening - muse for astronaut photography.

As Graham says, "just because you have a landfall to your south doesn't mean you're out of the woods, because the winds are huge around this system".

Florence is predicted to make landfall tomorrow, with states of emergency in effect in North and SC and Virginia. Homeland Security officials say the headquarters money is funded by a separate account altogether, and legally could not be spent for disaster relief.

The $10 million transfer came not from disaster accounts but from a pot of money at headquarters, covering employee training, travel, purchase card expenses and the like.

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"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Today's the day", he said.

But reporters at a press conference at FEMA's Washington headquarters wanted to know about Sen.

Although slow weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday, the National Hurricane Center said. (NDLS), BJ's WholesaleHoldings (BJ), Ruth's Hospitality Group(RUTH), Five Below (FIVE), and Chipotle Mexican Grill(CMG) have more than 8% exposure if the storm lands in the Virginia Beach area. There are 5.25 million people under hurricane warnings and watches and another 4.89 million under tropical storm watches and warnings.

Authorities in neighboring North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination, and parts of coastal Dare County. People getting a little more than moist over it'. For now, it appears four to seven inches of rain could fall but, if the storms takes a more southerly track into SC, that rainfall could be reduced.

"It's not exactly comparable to Hugo, but it is forecast to be a major hurricane making landfall, so in that sense it will be like Hugo", National Weather Service meteorologist Jake Wimberley told The Charlotte Observer.

Large and risky, Hurricane Florence is drawing closer to the coast of the Carolinas, where it threatens to become the most intense storm to strike the region in at least 25 years, since Hugo. Georgia is expected to see tropical storm-force winds and rain in some spots. Rain will continue through Sunday, dumping feet of water over a wide area.

Swells generated by Florence are already affecting Bermuda and portions of the US East Coast. Strengthening is forecast through Wednesday.

In neighboring Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan said his state was readying for potentially "historic and catastrophic rainfall, life-threatening flooding, and high winds". Ahead of what is projected to be massive devastation for several Southeast states, NASA has released high-definition footage of the storm as viewed from the International Space Station above the Atlantic Ocean.

The threat has sparked a rush of evacuation efforts in SC and North Carolina, with more than a million people urged to get out of Florence's way. A steady stream of vehicles filled with people and belongings is moving inland. It is poised to slow to a crawl there and then drift to the southwest, unloading disastrous amounts of rain.

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